One of the biggest mistakes a leader can make is not giving their up and coming leaders enough opportunity to take on leadership responsibilities. Sometimes it’s from a feeling of not wanting to “give something up”. Sometimes it’s from not wanting to take the time to do some training. Whatever the reason, it’s bad for both the current and upcoming leaders. Here are a few ways that leaders can teach and encourage new leaders to lead:
Have new leaders take on small roles at team meetings, and then gradually take on larger roles. In the beginning, it may be participating in a role play. Gradually they can work up to conducting a training session.
As you are making coaching or team calls, start by having your new leaders listen in. When they feel comfortable, have them host the call, and you listen in. Eventually they can take over their own team calls.
If you create team newsletters to recognize your team and their accomplishments, allow your new leaders contribute by writing featured articles. It’s a great way to build their credibility and confidence while having their name recognized and exposed to the team.
This is one of the challenging areas when it comes to training. When there is conflict within a team, it is hard for a new team leader to know how to handle it while making both sides happy. Offer to be on a call with all the parties involved. Hear all sides. Then let everyone know they need to think about it and you’ll have another call tomorrow. Call your new leader and ask how THEY would handle the situation based on the call. Run through different scenarios and give your insights based on experience. If comfortable, let him/her handle the conflict resolution call, with you listening in.
Each opportunity that you give your leaders to lead increases their confidence and abilities. Once they are leading their team, it gives you the opportunity to develop a new leader. Never be afraid of handing over the reins to a new leader…it’s good for both of you!